Easter Seals Florida and Applebee’s(R) Celebrate 12th Annual Holiday Giving Tree Program

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Easter Seals Florida and Applebee's celebrate the 12th Annual Holiday Giving Tree program, which brings new toys to kids with disabilities and special needs across the Tampa Bay area for Christmas.

Easter Seals Florida, a leading provider of exceptional services, education, outreach and advocacy for individuals with disabilities and special needs, celebrates the 12th Annual Holiday Giving Tree program through its partnership with Applebee’s and FOX 13’s Care Force. The program brings new toys to children across the Tampa Bay area for Christmas.

As part of the Easter Seals Holiday Giving Tree program, children served by Easter Seals, and their siblings, submit three wishes. The wishes are put on holiday trees in Applebee’s restaurants throughout the Tampa Bay area and are also posted on the FOX 13 Care Force website.

“Partnering with Easter Seals has been such a natural expression of a vision both organizations share,” says Applebee’s Casual Restaurant Concepts’ President Franklin Carson. “Bringing joy to kids with disabilities and special needs at Christmas time is one small way we can make a huge difference in supporting the local community.”

Christmas toy and gift wishes are currently available on FOX 13’s Care Force website, and the unwrapped, new items can be dropped off at any Bay Area Applebee’s by December 12, 2011. FOX 13 also provides a list of Applebee’s locations on their Care Force webpage: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/care_force/easter-seals-giving-tree-2011.

Tampa Bay’s most-watched morning show, Good Day Tampa Bay will showcase the children opening their donated Giving Tree gifts—tune in Friday, December 16.

“Families of children with disabilities and special needs often find their resources are stretched to pay medical bills and fixed expenses like electricity, so all too often, extras such as presents are not feasible,” says Tracey Clouser, Vice President of Development for Easter Seals Florida – an 86-year old organization that heavily relies on support from the community. Since the Holiday Giving Tree’s inception, thousands of toys and gifts have been given to children across the Bay area who would have otherwise gone without for Christmas.

In the Tampa Bay area, Easter Seals Florida provides developmental pre-school education, early intervention, and pediatric therapy services for young children with disabilities and special needs to help them achieve their maximum potential. Other statewide programs serving Tampa Bay area residents include Lifeline personal emergency response systems and accessible camping and recreation. Easter Seals Florida assists more than 800 children with disabilities per year in Tampa Bay, many of whom are served every day or multiple times per week at Easter Seals and in homes throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties.

About Easter Seals Florida
Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical and mental disabilities and other special needs. Easter Seals Florida was founded in 1948 and serves 40 of Florida’s 67 counties, helping children and adults with disabilities and special needs gain greater independence. Through therapy, training education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities and live, learn, work and play in their communities. In the Tampa Bay area, Easter Seals Florida serves children with special needs and disabilities and their families in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk and Pasco Counties through developmental education, early intervention, pediatric therapy, family support and advocacy. Learn more about how we help children and adults with disabilities and special needs at http://www.fl.easterseals.com/tampa or call 813.988.7633.

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Kristen Pulido
Adonai Public Relations & Marketing
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